If You Plan On Target Practicing This Summer Follow These Guidelines
Now that it’s the start of summer and target practice is common, Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch wants to remind people that although target practice is legal there are some things to take into consideration.
For example, you must consider the backstop of where you are shooting into. Your backstop needs to be able to safely stop the caliber of the bullet that you are shooting and be in a safe direction from structures, utilities and other potential dangers.
Most sport shooters are aware of these considerations and do take proper precautions to safely target practice on private lands.
Cass County doesn’t have an ordinance on target practice, but certain municipalities or townships might have specific ordinances that need to be followed.
These 10 Commandments from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) Safety Training Course serve as a reminder while target practicing or hunting:
- Watch that muzzle! Keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times.
- Treat every firearm with the respect due a loaded gun. It might be loaded, even if you think it isn’t.
- Be sure of the target and what is in front of it and beyond it. Know the identifying features of the game you hunt. Make sure you have an adequate backstop—don’t shoot at a flat, hard surface or water.
- Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot. This is the best way to prevent an accidental discharge.
- Check your barrel and ammunition. Make sure the barrel and action are clear of obstructions and carry only the proper ammunition for your firearm.
- Unload firearms when not in use. Leave actions open and carry firearms in cases and unloaded to and from the shooting area.
- Point a firearm only at something you intend to shoot. Avoid all horseplay with a gun.
- Don’t run, jump or climb with a loaded firearm. Unload a firearm before you climb a fence or tree or jump a ditch. Pull a firearm toward you by the butt, not the muzzle.
- Store firearms and ammunition separately and safely. Store each in secured locations beyond the reach of children and careless adults.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages before and during shooting. Also avoid mind and/or behavior–altering medicines or drugs.
For more information and to research legal and safe target practice and hunting regulations provided by the MN DNR at http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/hunting/tips/enforcement.html.